September is a storming calvacade after the languor of Summer months, there’s endless shows, events and a constant instagram fizz of fabulous shots: are you Fashion Week frenzied? LDF? Focus-ed? 100% design? Top Drawer? A Decorative Fair? LAPADA’d? V and A bound, Tent-ed or Design Junction ready…and that’s just London. Full-on-Fall or what? Choices, choices…
one can’t be front row at everything…
And as the dust clears I am left with a lingering mental imprint of what really caught my eye. There’s the on-trend East End and the hi-end West End, increasingly the 2 meet through heritage and craftsmanship, as young creatives and established designers seek out traditional production methods and values, a folk sound track is pumping out over both FROW and artisan studio.
First up…It was rather magical to see the finished entrance installation de Gournay and Kit Kemp’s dreamt up – for their interpretation of the Marriage.
I loved how Wedgewood blue met Hockney-graphics. From the tiered cake and ‘portrait’ fans to fluttering birds, forest flowers …and bell jar heads it was beautiful and tongue in cheek, A Modern Marriage nailed it. Once inside, appropriately the first stand was de Gournay, justifiably showing off their Lanvin/Rambateau triumph, Art Deco is suddenly quite appealing and a little less masculine in their elegant hands.
There were a lot of Instagram shots celebrating this… including mine. The show celebrated ‘Future Heritage’ the designers and craftsmen of today creating the ‘antiques’ of tomorrow and ‘In the Making’ feature areas showed this in action, having done the factory rounds in India…I like getting close up and personal with the block printing, weaving and master plasterer.
Front weaving their ‘Erased Heritage’ rug, each one 2 years in the making and entirely bespoke. Michael Eden’s ‘future heritage’ vessels combining modern colour and construction with Neo Classical design. Locker and Riley carving out the lion’s mane and Watts of Westminster block printing… I am regretting not taking up their offer to wield the block stamp… should have right? I let it flow over me walking around, but coming back in replays in groups, lighting, take your pick, for me it’s the colourful glass pendants and sculptural modern beauties which sing loudest.
I am properly obsessed with the Le Deun lighting, ever since I saw them at ABC Carpet and Home and Calypso in NYC:. I love how their sculptural simplicity makes them perfect across the interiors range: classical to uber modern – shaken and stirred any-which-way would all be improved by one of these. Total Lust. Am I alone in finding lampshades a challenge? It sounds wrong … walking 15 k uphill should be challenging… but it’s true, as Melodi Horne one of my favourite stands at the show said: Lampshade making is a forgotten art…. It has the power to create mood, an ambience and coloured linings are of paramount importance… dark blue is boudoir, pink is romantic and yellow gives a sunshine feel. Oh and she had fab Cecil Beaton quotes all around her stand, I love ikat fabrics and adore Cecil, so count me in.
Those fabric wrapped sweeties obviously came home and are tantalisingly jewel-like on my dressing table. Textiles are my first love, I am obsessed with rugs, adore pattern, texture and the transformative power of colour. So Vanderhurd’s charismatic stand with it’s neon pink backdrop made my heart sing, a little Melodi lamp or Le Deum luminaire and I could move in.
Brit shop par excellence Liberty made country living vibrant and quirky: Whilst Danish husband and wife team Tapet Cafe create beautifully layered textiles, wallpapers and interior design in 50 shades of Farrow and Ball, tie me up and take it home.
The textile list goes on and on, from A to B, Eley Kishimoto to Verdon Fleece. I am always interested in how you create character and comfort in a space and a transformative element is wood: it’s natural, back to basics quality is both nurturing and cocooning. I could commission Courchevel or Meribel straight away for the home counties…. where is their catalogue?
But there are so many… where to stop the sketch? For me designers like Russell Pinch are a real pleasure, his pieces whisper the word heritage whilst embracing a warm modernism. creating timeless furniture … did I mention he is properly charming?
with his partner Oona
to Bert and May, the editorial favourite this year.
Lucky those feet were made for walking uphill, 15 k….although I fancied taking a seat under Lewis and Wood’s scenic ‘Sika’ deer for House and Garden.
Now I am home the mental sketch book is full of luminous visuals but being a Decorative Affair we might have to start with that Curiosity cabinet I have always fantasised about and saw stand size, including ostrich… yes at Decorex.